A – 2007 Underraga Merlot. $11 The cheap ringer. Dusty, tight, light herb, sweet on the nose. Palate showed cran-grape fruit juice flavors, ashtray, and caraway. Smooth, but with an icky finish. 77
B – 2003 Paradgim Merlot. $68 I don’t normally buy California at the top end of our price scale. The nose had heavy fruit, ‘cinnamint’, a little plastic, and was complex. The palate was tasty, lucious, mouth filling, with a lingering dryness. Clearly a well made wine. 92
C – 2005 Chateau Peyraud. $22 Some right bank bordeaux. Aromatically challenged, which I forgive now as it’s still young from a big vintage. Fruit, and yard on the nose. Not bad palate, solid, but not exceptional. 85.
D – 2003 Chateau la Commanderie St. Emilion Grand Cru. $50 The nose was new-world to me, showing some nasty diaper pail to start [which went away]. Very burnt-oak-esque. The palate was luxurious, okay, rich, and tannic. A really nice wine, but an eye-opener as to how new world France can get. 91
The food pairing? A fresh calf moose tongue BLT. With a grilled giant moose rib.